R 121649Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0339
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY UNCLAS WINDHOEK 000052
FOR G/TIP RACHEL YOUSEY, AF/RSA LINDA MUNCY, G AC BLANK,
INL, DRL, PRM
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: 2009 ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT ON
REF: A. 08 STATE 132759
B. WINDHOEK 11
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED ENTIRE TEXT
1. (U) Response to 23 A: The Government of Namibia (GRN)
does not gather statistics on trafficking in persons (TIP).
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MEGCW)
keeps statistics on the number of women who are victims of
domestic violence. The Women and Child Protection Unit of the
police investigates possible trafficking cases, but does not
keep statistics on trafficking. The Ministry of Labour and
Social Welfare tracks cases of the worst forms of child
labor. There are plans to carry out a baseline study in 2009
to assess the scope of the TIP problem in Namibia. This
project, which the MEGCW requested, will be funded by USAID's
Women in Development's Anti-trafficking Technical Assistance
Task Order and USAID's Africa Bureau and will be carried out
in partnership with the MGECW.
2. (U) Response to 23 B: Namibia is a country of transit for
internationally trafficked men, women, and children, and it
appears to be a country of origin and destination as well.
There is primarily anecdotal evidence that trafficking takes
place within Namibia's borders (there are no areas of the
country not under the GRN's control). However, there are no
statistics available on either domestic or international
trafficking with regards to Namibia. There have been
instances of children being trafficked from Angola and Zambia
to work in Namibia. There are reports of a labor trafficking
syndicate from West Africa that transits through Namibia. In
the Namibian sex industry, some of the workers are believed
to be trafficked. Per Ref B, the Ministry of Labour reports
that three cases of the worst forms of child labor took place
in Namibia (one in July 2008 in the agricultural sector in
which a Namibian child died from injuries he sustained
carrying heavy loads; one in August 2008 in which several
Angolan children ages ten to 13 were herding cattle; and the
third in October 2007 in which Zambian children were found in
the Caprivi region as part of a ring of domestic child
3. Response to 23 C: According to government officials,
victims of TIP may be promised wages that they never receive.
They may be forced to work long hours, carrying out hazardous
tasks. Victims may be beaten or raped by their traffickers or
by third parties.
4. Response to 23 D: Namibia's high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
has increased the number of orphans and vulnerable children,
who are at risk of being exploited.
5. Response to 23 E: An independent researcher claims that
West Africans are being transited through Namibia to work in
Angola under false pretenses. (The theory is that passports
and work permits are easier to obtain in Namibia than in
Angola, and Namibian papers allow one to work in Angola.)
Police corroborate this labor syndicate's existence. Business
owners are trafficking sex workers either to work in small
local bars known as "shabeens" or in ships in the harbor
along the west coast. A high-profile case in December in
which a Somali woman and her children were arrested at
Namibia's international airport with stolen passports, police
claim is most likely a smuggling as opposed to a TIP case. In
some cases in which children are engaged in herding, domestic
or agricultural labor, parents unwittingly may have sold
their children into these conditions.
6. Response to 24 A: The GRN does acknowledge that
trafficking is a problem. The MGECW has worked closely with
us in designing the scope of work for the baseline study
described in paragraph 1.
7. Response to 24 B: The MGECW, the Ministry of Home Affairs
and Immigration, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare,
and the Ministry of Safety and Security are involved in the
GRN's anti-trafficking efforts. No particular ministry acts
as lead agency, although the MGECW will take the lead on the
2009 TIP baseline study. Similarly, the Ministry of Labour
has been the lead agency on Namibia's National Child Labour
Project, an ongoing study examining work activities that
negatively affect a child's development. It produced research
reports, a discussion document, and an action plan in 2008 as
part of the ILO's International Program on the Elimination of
Child Labor (IPEC). There have been no large-scale
government-led anti-trafficking campaigns. However, in 2008,
the MGECW printed and distributed-- via its gender liaison
officers in each of Namibia's 13 regions-- 1000 copies of a
brochure explaining human trafficking. The government also
devotes resources to public campaigns or labor rights
(including brochures, which explain the new labor law and
promote child labor awareness), domestic violence and sexual
abuse. In January 2008, the government hosted a national
conference on child labor, which focused significantly on
TIP, including child sex workers.
8. Response to 24 C: The government's ability to collect and
quantify TIP information is limited due to a lack of computer
systems, appropriate software, Internet access, digital
records, and digital cameras and recorders-- particularly in
the police force. The Women and Child Protection Unit claims
that there are not enough shelters in the country to which
victims of violence, including TIP, can be referred, and
similarly there are not enough hospital facilities in which
victims can receive appropriate care by physicians or
counselors trained in assisting trauma victims.
9. Response to 24 D: The government does not keep statistics
on trafficking. However, the GRN does collect crime data and
statistics on trafficking-related offenses, such as the worst
forms of child labor and rape. It monitors
immigration-related data that could indicate instances of
TIP. The country's human rights and legal organizations and
the media monitor the issue, but generally do not keep TIP
statistics. The GRN does not monitor its anti-trafficking
10. (SBU) Response to 25 A, B, C, and D: The Prevention of
Organized Crime Act (POCA) of 2004 (which is expected to be
implemented in April 2009) explicitly criminalizes TIP as
well as human smuggling. With this legislation, those who
participate in or aid and abet TIP face fines of up to
N$1,000,000 (USD 100,000) or jail terms of up to 50 years.
Additionally, those who participate in or aid and abet
migrant smuggling face fines up to N$500,000 (US $50,000) or
imprisonment of up to 25 years. The law does not
differentiate between trafficking for sexual exploitation and
trafficking for non-sexual purposes. Because the law does not
cover the "three Ps," the Ministry of Justice is considering
redrafting legislation so that it more comprehensively
addresses TIP. The Combating Rape Act prescribes up to 15
years imprisonment for first-time offenders and up to 45
years for repeat offenders, which is less than the 50 years
prescribed by the POCA. Namibia's labor law prohibits forced
labor and those convicted of forced labor are liable for
fines up to N$20,000 (USD 2,000) or imprisonment of up to
four years or both.
11. Response to 25 C continued: Namibia has progressive labor
laws, including laws prohibiting the worst forms of child
labor. Section 3 of the 2007 Labour Act, which was signed
into law during the reporting period, maintains the minimum
working age at 14 years. It also states that children between
the ages of 14-18 may not be employed where: work takes place
between the hours of 20:00-07:00; work is done underground or
in a mine; construction or demolition takes place; goods are
manufactured; electricity is generated, transformed, or
distributed; machinery is installed or dismantled; and any
work-related activities take place that may jeopardize a
child's health, safety, or physical, mental, spiritual,
moral, or social development. Under the new labor act,
persons found guilty of employing children face a maximum
fine of up to N$20,000 (USD 2,000) and/or up to four years
imprisonment. In addition, Section 6 of the Labour Act
stipulates the number of hours employees are allowed to work,
(which vary depending on the nature of the job) as well as
meal intervals (one hour meal interval for every five hours
of continuous work). Section 7 dictates the number of
workplace health and safety representatives (for 11-100
employees, at least one health and safety representative may
be elected by the employees). Section 13 states that a health
and safety commission must be established at a work place
with more than 100 employees. Section 17 dictates the number
of annual leave days employers must grant employees (e.g. an
employee who works five days a week is entitled to at least
20 days of annual leave). And Section 19 prescribes minimum
conditions of employment for night work, work on Sundays, and
work during public holidays.
12. Response to 25 E: The GRN did not prosecute any cases
against human trafficking offenders during the reporting
period. In the three child labor cases discussed in paragraph
2, the offenders were issued compliance orders because the
2007 Labour Act, which prescribes stiffer penalties, had not
yet been implemented. The GRN recorded no cases of forced
adult labor during the reporting period.
13. Response to 25 F: The government continues to pursue its
gender mainstreaming policy to "integrate gender equality and
gender sensitivity in all government actions and programs."
Through the Women and Child Protection Unit within the police
force, the government provides specialized training for
police officials and social workers from the Ministry of
Health in providing services to victims of sexual abuse and
domestic violence. A limited number of government officials
have undertaken anti-TIP training.
14. Response to 25 G: The GRN works with the countries in the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) to develop and
conform legislation in the region, particularly with respect
to border and immigration issues and their relationship to
TIP. There were no cooperative international investigations
on TIP during the reporting period.
15. Response to 25 H: Namibia's Extradition Act of 1996 (Act
11 of 1996) provides for extradition to specified countries,
such as those in the SADC region and Commonwealth, as well as
other countries with which Namibia has extradition
agreements. Although TIP and smuggling are considered
extraditable offenses in Namibia, there were no extraditions
related to TIP or smuggling during the reporting period.
16. Response to 25 J: There was no evidence presented during
the reporting period of government officials involved in TIP.
17. Response to 25 K: Prostitution is not criminalized, but
making a living from prostitution (such as pimping or
solicitation) is illegal. The age of sexual consent in
Namibia is 16. There are laws criminalizing sexual
exploitation, child pornography, and child prostitution. The
GRN enforces these laws, particularly in instances of child
and adult rape.
18. Response to 25 L: No Namibian peacekeepers were
investigated or sentenced for TIP-related offenses during the
19. Response to 26 A and B: The Women and Child Protection
Unit of the police (there are 15 such units around the
country) is the first point of contact for women and children
who are victims of violence. The police are responsible for
finding temporary shelter for victims as well as medical
assistance. MGECW provides social workers to the police. The
Women and Child Protection Unit has designated examination
rooms in most hospitals for use by victims and physicians,
who have been trained to deal with trauma victims. There are
five shelters in Namibia; all are run by civil society
organizations. Police contend that shelters are often full
and cannot accommodate all victims of gender-based violence.
If a child trafficking victim is discovered, the police or
inspectors from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare
will work to return the child to his/her family.
20. Response to 26 C: There are several NGOs working on
TIP-related issues. The PEACE Center offers counseling to
victims of trauma and has a referral agreement with the Women
and Child Protection Unit of the police. However, it has
never had a TIP victim as a client. The Council of Churches
in Namibia has worked with sex workers. Victims also may be
referred to the Legal Assistance Center for pro-bono legal
counseling. Generally these NGOs do not receive government
21. Response to 26 D: During the reporting period, the
possible Somali TIP victim was assisted by the Legal
Assistance Center. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare
plans to reassess the welfare of the Angolan children who
were discovered herding cattle. The domestic child laborers
from Zambia were repatriated.
22. Response to 26 E: There is no long-term shelter available
for victims, including those assisting with the investigation
of a crime. Due to serious resource constraints, the GRN has
difficulty providing financial assistance to victims (i.e.
those who are no longer working). GRN also has difficulty
23. Response to 26 F: The Women and Child Protection Unit of
the police have an informal referral system in place with the
NGOs that provide shelter or counseling to victims.
24. Response to 26 G: Statistics are not kept on TIP victims,
and for the most part, victims of violence who are
intercepted by the police, the MGECW, the Ministry of Home
Affairs, or the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare do not
identify themselves as victims of TIP. In addition to the
cases known to the government (described in paragraph 2), an
independent researcher completed a study in which she
interviewed 230 prostitutes. Of these, 68 claimed to have
been trafficked. The researcher claims that 23 of these
trafficking cases took place during the last year.
25. Response to 26 H: The Women and Child Protection Unit of
the police proactively seek to identify victims of
26. Response to 26 I: It is possible that victims could be
jailed or prosecuted for violating laws related to
immigration and prostitution. The GRN does not have any
record of this taking place during the reporting period.
27. Response to 26 J: The GRN does encourage victims to
assist in the investigation and prosecution of criminals in
trafficking and gender violence cases. There were no
trafficking related investigations during the reporting
28. Response to 26 K: The Women and Child Protection Unit of
the police and the MGECW's gender liaison officers (there is
one in each of Namibia's 13 regions) have undergone training
to identify victims of trafficking. The government does not
provide specific training on TIP to those working in its
embassies and consulates, but encourages Namibian diplomats
to maintain relations with NGOs that follow trafficking
issues. There were no victims of trafficking assisted by
Namibia's embassies or consulates during the reporting period.
29. Response to 26 L: There were no reported instances of
repatriated TIP victims during the reporting period.
30. Response to 26 M: The ILO-supported program, Towards the
Elimination of the worst forms of Child Labor (TECL) deals
with several TIP-related issues. UNICEF is among the
international organizations with policies in place to assist
TIP victims. In the past, the U.S. Embassy has conducted
training or provided training materials to government
officials working on TIP-related issues. Namibia hosted the
ninth annual INTERPOL working group meeting on TIP in
31. Response to 27 A: Please see paragraph 7. In addition,
there is widespread agreement amongst government officials
and civil society that Namibia needs a country-wide public
awareness campaign on TIP. Many victims do not understand the
phenomenon and therefore do not identify themselves as
victims or seek assistance. Public awareness printed
materials and billboards are especially needed at border
32. Response to 27 B: The GRN monitors immigration and
emigration patterns for evidence of TIP.
33. Response to 27 C: There is no multi-ministerial task
force working on TIP.
34. Response to 27 D: The government does not have a national
plan of action on TIP. The TIP baseline study mentioned in
paragraph 1 is expected to lead to such a plan.
35. Response to 27 E: There were no actions to reduce the
demand for commercial sex taken during the reporting period.
There were no known cases of foreign nationals engaging in
sex tourism in Namibia nor of Namibians engaging in sex
36. Response to 27 F: There were no actions to reduce
participation in international sex tourism taken during the
37. Poloff spent approximately 18 hours on this report. DCM
spent 2 and Ambassador 2. Poloff Emily Plumb is POC for TIP.
(Telephone 264-61-295-8500; fax 264-61-295-8603).
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